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Dying Gasp GOP and the Future of the Democratic Party

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The Republican Party, most will agree, is at an all-time high, while the Democratic party, most will agree, is at an all-time low. Some have even gone as far to say that the Democratic Party is collapsing, falling apart, or imploding. Is this an accurate assessment or just the wishful thinking of partisan activists? There is ample evidence to show that the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders have plenty of reason to be worried.

Except for the last decade, Democrats typically were the majority in the American government–the very time America rose from an isolationist afterthought to the world’s only superpower. Republican success on a national level can be traced back to the “southern strategy,” a racist, minority baiting plan to get white southerners to vote Republican because African-Americans were associated with Democrats. By all accounts, it worked well for them, and the strategy continues today as it has morphed into the “gay-baiting strategy,” aimed at the same individuals with the same types of prejudices.

But is this strategy a long-term winner? Many have written about how population growth in “red states” exceeds that of “blue states” and have concluded that this bodes well for the Republican Party. The analysis is superficial, however, because it does not look at why the population is increasing and it assumes “red states” will always remain that way. Take, for instance, Nevada, a red state that is growing rapidly. A large portion of that growth comes from California, one of the bluest states in the country, and as we have witnessed, George Bush won Nevada by only 10,000 votes. Due to the high influx of Californians, had the election been replayed today, Bush may have lost Nevada to John Kerry. Similar trends are occurring in Florida where east-coast liberals are moving there en masse to retire. In Texas, as well as many other western states like Colorado, the majority of the growth is from Latinos and Latino immigrants, the majority of whom vote Democratic.

Compounding the future problems for Republicans is the fact that they are fighting squarely against the things Americans believe in. Large majorities of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, that Bush doesn’t share their priorities, that the war in Iraq wasn’t worth it, that stem-cell research should be pursued, that Democrats have a better plan for Social Security, that Democrats will protect the environment better, and that the President can’t be trusted. Most people can’t think of anything Congress has done except for intruding in the Terri Schiavo case, and almost everyone disapproved of that. By an overwhelming 2-1 margin, Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned; yet President Bush has nominated John Roberts for a position as a Supreme Court justice, where he is all but certain to help overturn the case.

These and other issues put Democrats squarely in the mainstream of American values and Republicans at the fringes. Polls taken the day before the 2004 election as well as the day after tell us clearly that the Democrats are already where most Americans are on the issues and also on values. A post-election Zogby poll asked respondents to name the moral values most important to them. Two to one, they named “greed and materialism” and “poverty and economic justice” over “abortion” and “same sex marriage.” Thus, Democrats already represent the aspirations of the majority of Americans and don’t need a “makeover” as many Republican have suggested.

Similarly, there is a disconnect within the Republican Party hierarchy about how to handle its problems. Tom DeLay, the leader of the GOP in Congress, was admonished three times last year by the House Ethics Committee and is under criminal investigation in Texas. Karl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, is under criminal investigation for leaking the name of an undercover CIA operative and endangering national security.


Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham is retiring early because he is under criminal investigation for taking bribes. The Republican Party response has been to spin, deny, or make excuses for these criminal acts, which is clearly not what voters want to see out of an honest government.

At the same time, Democrats are at an all-time low and can only go up. John Kerry, while an excellent candidate for liberals, was a mistake on the national stage. He did not connect with southern, conservative Democrats, nor western, libertarian independents. Despite these obvious drawbacks, had 30,000 Ohioans voted differently, John Kerry would be president today.

When will Democrats reassert their political dominance? Given demographics, it is inevitable, but it may take a long time for several reasons. First, Democratic politicians may continue to lose razor thin elections until they proudly and aggressively stand up for what they believe in, regardless of whether or not it may turn off some voters.

Take, for example, an answer Kerry gave during the debates right before the presidential election . A woman asked him what he would do about publicly funded abortions because she did not want her tax money to go to them. Kerry danced around the issue and appeared afraid to directly answer the question. What he should have said is that there is a right to choose in this country, and that a majority of the country does not want 500 billion dollars going to Iraq either. This woman was complaining about a “problem” that is not even .0001% the magnitude of the spending of the people’s money on rebuilding and/or attacking other countries.

Since by a 2-1 margin Americans want to protect the right to choose, he should have jumped all over the extreme partisan question, yet he evaded. The Kerry of the early post-Vietnam period would have slam-dunked that question, yet he had trepidation and the American people do not like that in their politicians. They thought Bush was tough, knew what he believed, and was willing to fight for it and Bush benefited from that question despite being far out of the mainstream on abortion rights.

Second, Democrats can speed up the process of taking back the country through discipline. The old adage is true that if you say something a hundred times, it adds up to something. Consider the repeal of the estate tax, which is nothing more than a giveaway to the rich since you must be a multi-millionaire to even have an “estate” under current law. The President calls it the “death tax.” Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and right-wing talk radio call it the “death tax.” The Washington Times writes about the “death tax.” And before you know it, the New York Times writes about the “death tax,” and since everybody dies, the public starts asking for relief from the “death tax.” Republican repetition of the same talking points may be irritating and simplistic, but it represents a level of discipline that Democrats need if they expect average Americans to hear what they stand for and be able to articulate it in one declarative sentence.

Change is in the air, however, and the Republican Party is enduring one of its last gasps. The Democratic Party has increased its fundraising by 50% since the last non-election year, while Republicans have stagnated. Democrats continue to make up 36% of the population, while the “Republican revolution” has grown in 40 years from 27% of the population to 28% of the population. The days of a Reagan-like electoral romp are history, as Bush, arguably the most popular Republican since Reagan and likely for the next generation, sneaked through with the two closest election victories in history. Despite Republican spin, the Democratic Party is raising more money, represents a plurality of Americans, and is squarely in line with American values. George Bush, the biggest star the Republican Party will have for years to come, is disapproved of by a majority of the country. For a party at an all-time high running against a party at an all-time low with a lackluster candidate, this does not bode well for the future of the Republican Party.

Balletshooz
Rights and Freedoms Coalition

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About Balletshooz

  • Good points. This is the type of piece that is necessary to disseminate widely to defeat the “herd-mentality” voting associated with the constant repetitions of “We’re #1” on the right and to discredit the media’s repetition of same.

    Although it’s briefly touched on (Florida retirees), perhaps the most important constituency already leaning, more so now than before, and sure to be in the Democratic or Independent camps for a long time are current and soon to be grandparents.

    Numerous articles have been coming out of late showing that this group is shouldering more and more of the living expenses of their adult children and now, tuition costs for their grandchildren.

    It’s probably a pretty safe bet that grandparents, as they sit down with their bills, after yet another seminar on deciphering the new Medicare rules, will get very angry at what’s happened to the societal bonds that were in place when they were young and that enabled them to achieve a life of some security.

    When they see that security under attack and those bonds unavailable for their offspring, they’re sure to recognize that while they’re footing the bill for it,, they were’t invited to the Grand Old Party (GOP).

  • And the band kept playing Nearer My God to Thee”.

    Keep hope alive my deluded friend.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    I do see a certain amount of wishful thinking here, although the post is very well done. I think it not unlikely that the electorate will be ready to give the Dems a try by the next presidential election if he/she can appeal to the middle

  • billy

    where did she go wrong dave? it seems logical to me.

  • Mark Warner at the DLC conference today talked about the huge opening for the Dems to appeal to the Sensible Middle. And he’s absolutely right — the opening was also there in ’04, but Kerry just couldn’t close the deal.

    While I agree with EO that you’re stretching your points a bit, Balletshooz, you bring up some very important points about voting and demographics. The Northeast, Illinois, and the West are locks for Dems for the foreseeable future. That’s why Howard Dean and others are smart in developing a 50-state strategy from the ground up, as opposed to the 16-18 state strategy of the last few elections.

    Finally, I can’t help but think that Republicans are fighting rear-guard actions on multiple fronts. They’re leaning backward in terms of social issues (particularly abortion), scientific research, and how America’s place fits in the world.

    A smart, savvy, and centrist Democrat has every chance in the world to harnass these trends and grab back the White House in ’08.

  • billy

    i thought howard dean was a disaster? i guess raising 50% more cash is a disaster but not for democrats.

  • >>where did she go wrong dave? it seems logical to me.< < It would, billy, because you're programmed to believe and accept the message. The truth is that the Dems have so completely lost touch with middle America that they have little or no hope of regaining any ground. They have chosen to support policies which marginalize them politically and make them sacred cows which they will not sacrifice. To have any hope in the next two elections they would need to make complete 180 degree reverses on certain key issues, and I just don't see that happening. The public may be fed up with Bush, but they certainly aren't attracted to a party which offers them all the mistakes Bush has made and the potential for even more disastrous policies as well. >>Mark Warner at the DLC conference today talked about the huge opening for the Dems to appeal to the Sensible Middle.< < Sounds great on paper, but the Dems are literally incapable as a party of appealing to any sensible constituency. They support too many ideas which are fundamentally nonsensical and transparently so to any thinking voter. >>The Northeast, Illinois, and the West are locks for Dems for the foreseeable future. << Want to bet? I predict that in the next election you'll see unexpected Dem losses in all of those areas, especially the west. And the losses aren't going to be because of Abortion or foreign policy. As always, people will vote their pocketbooks. And if Bush can keep the economy going the way he has with all this overspending and the war in Iraq, people are going to stick by him. Dave

  • and remember kiddies, Mr Nalle pontificates his knowledge of the middle class from his secure compound in Texas after a nice vacation at his summer retreat home in Maine after counting the profits from his Haliburton stock and his investment in KBR mercenaries…

    oh the irony…

    miss me , Mr Nalle?

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Excelsior!

  • LOL, you’ve got me dead to rights, Gonzo. I’m not known as the Elitist Pig for nothing. But to be honest, despite being richer than some folks, I’m still in the middle class. By any definition I’m a percent or two short of the truly rich, so I pay a lot of taxes and have to work hard for my luxuries.

    I should point out that I don’t have stock in KBR, I just have a friend who’s one of their contractors. You know, I have a LOT of friends and acquaintances. I go out of my way to cultivate them from all walks of life. In fact, I was down at the Lions Club today and hung out with my brother Lions, who include an auto mechanic, a food service guy, an electrician, a guy who fixes sewers for the city, a cop, a high school principal, one of his teachers, a local minister, several retired career military fellows, a lawnmower salesman, some guys who work for the state in various capacities, our local auctioneer, a couple of housewives, a few entrepreneurs like me, a couple of farmers and a lawyer. Yearly earnings probably run from 0 to the middle six figure range, and capital investment and property ownership probably range from owning an old car to owning a couple of million in assets. We sit around, drink beer, eat good food and talk. I get a pretty good idea what peoples lives are like that way.

    You see, we’re all part of the middle class. I may make more money than some of them and less than others, but we’re all in that class of people who work hard for a living, don’t take government handouts, and want to improve our lives and the lives of the people around us. We come from diverse social and political perspectives, but there are things we can all agree on. We don’t like being overtaxed, would prefer that government leave us the hell alone, and like to make our own choices in how we live and what we do with our money. And these things are as true of the youngest and least affluent of us as they are of the oldest and most wealthy.

    Dave

  • and i can easily agree with many of them , Mr Nalle…my point being that there are many and varied concerns…i make no claim to knowing the ones of folks in Texas…but i do know a little something about those in the Northeast

    many fiscal conservatives are worried abotu going from record surplus’ to record deficits (not counting war costs)..

    many small government types are concerned with a huge boondoggle like the Shrub’s prescription drug plan, which is already going to cost far more than he told us it would, and has provisions in it that not only do NOT allow us to negotiate and collective bargain for better prices, but also do not allow for suits against drug companies for when they fuck up
    add the hugeness of th eHomeland security department, it’s costs and the fact that it has done jack shit about …homeland security

    or do you think the money spent in ..oh..Wyoming was properly utilized over, say the seaport in Elizabeth New Jersey, which is not only a crucial seaport for the entire east coast, but sits right up against Linden, NJ, one of the worlds largest refineries and storage for billions of cubic yards of natural gas under pressure?

    picture a container with soem explosives in it cruising into that harbor and setting off Linden…go look up the War College’s figures for potential damage…then see if you can sleep at night

    that’s one example of failure, but billions spent …on what?..certanily not securing our southern border from illegal’s crossing there…or catching and deporting those in our nation illegally, and prosecuting those that hire them

    now..as for social issues…do i really need to get into this? and how much the last 5 years of GOP regime has totally alienated many americans…shall we just cite the Schiavo case as one example

    we will see in ’06, Mr Nalle…i do hope rationality reigns and we get back to a split government…that moderates hold sway and sanity can at least walk in DC without having to hide from idealogues

    i can say this, i highly doubt that any sane person can possibly believe that having the WH, Senate and Congress all under the rule of fundamentalist neocons is a good thing

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • Good point about Californians moving to Nevada and changing its political complexion. I just wish George Soros would spend his fortune on a new town somewhere in Ohio, to be settled by committed Democrats who would move into this new community from states like Indiana and Kentucky that are hopelessly Republican. Democrats need to make the electoral college work for them for once, instead of against them as in 2000, 1888, 1876 and 1824.

  • which Californians are moving to Nevada? SF and LA are what makes the state blue. Just about everywhere else here is red.

  • >>many fiscal conservatives are worried abotu going from record surplus’ to record deficits (not counting war costs)..

    many small government types are concerned with a huge boondoggle like the Shrub’s prescription drug plan,< < We both know you're right on these, Gonzo. Yet those same concerned people look at these situations and say 'if it's this bad with Bush, imagine how unbelievably awful it would be with the Dems in charge.' >>now..as for social issues…do i really need to get into this? and how much the last 5 years of GOP regime has totally alienated many americans…shall we just cite the Schiavo case as one example< < Aside from the Schiavo silliness which had zero impact on national law or policy the Bush administration and the supposed fundies in Congress have done damned little to implement any kind of socially repressive agenda. It's a straw man thrown out by the democratcs. >>i can say this, i highly doubt that any sane person can possibly believe that having the WH, Senate and Congress all under the rule of fundamentalist neocons is a good thing<< A few fundamentalists and neocons here and there doesn't add up to 'ruling' the various branches of government. Dave

  • >>Republican success on a national level can be traced back to the “southern strategy”, a racist, minority baiting plan to get white southerners to vote Republican because African-Americans were associated with Democrats.< < Uhh no, since the begining of the Democratic party have overwhelmingly won the then rascist South. These were the times of Segregation. There is an actually retired klansman in the senate who is a Democrat, his name is Senator Byrd of West Virginia. http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/7281.html

    Most Republicans were actually in support of Marin Luther King Jr. and the end of segregation. It was mostly the Democrat officials who ordered protestors spayed with fire hoses and beaten.

    The Republican success in the South is due to the recently new additions to the political world: abortion and gay marriage. The very Christian South is exteremly against these issues, like most Republicans.

    The Democrats also lost the Southern vote, because they now concentrate their time on big urban areas like Boston, N.Y, S.F., L.A. and corrupt Chicago which are huge supporters of abortion and gay marriage.

    Show me where the Republicans used rascist strategies.

  • Nancy

    What turns off many that I talk to (not to mention myself) is the corruption of selected members of the GOP, and then the almost unbelievable arrogance of their attitude when caught dead to rights, and the ‘spin’. I’m tired of spin. From anybody. Dammit, 35 years ago, the GOP had enough guts to throw out those that poisoned the party, & they should do the same now instead of harboring a stonewall mentality, because I can guarantee, a party that only wins or thinks it can win, thru dirty tricks, ain’t gonna stay on top for long.

  • As demonstrated by the downfall of the Democrats and their smoke and mirror policies.

    Dave

  • The Democratic Party has increased its fundraising by 50% since the last non-election year while Republicans have stagnated.

    If you read the book “Freakonomics,” you’ll find out that statistics show that fundraising is not causally linked to electoral success. There have been two interesting myths, both of which were debunked in this past election:
    1) Large voter turnout always means Democratic success.
    2) If Democrats can raise as much money as Republicans, they will win.

    In this past election, Democrats raised at least, if not more, funds as the GOP, and lost. In 2004, the turnout for the vote was historically high, yet, again, Democrats lost decisively.

    If Democrats want to win again, they need to do exactly what Hillary Clinton is doing, which is exactly what her husband did in 1992, move to the middle of the political spectrum. If you do that, and can communicate a positive vision, then you can compete.

    But giving preeminent seating to Michael Moore, next to former prez Jimmy Carter, at the national convention and then repeating every radical line you can think of to the MSM is NOT going to help.

    Really, that is the only discipline the DNC needs right now. They need to know when to shut up.

    Thanks,

    David

  • Balletshooz

    “If Democrats want to win again, they need to do exactly what Hillary Clinton is doing, which is exactly what her husband did in 1992, move to the middle of the political spectrum.”

    Or better yet be at the center already. And also of note, Hillary is a former Republican. Most Democrats will agree she’s pretty right wing for a Democrat.

    Although im not sure how the DNC “shutting up” makes a difference, the gop sure loves to run off at the mouth and it doesnt seem to hurt them any.

  • And Reagan was once a Democrat… So what’s your point?

    And calling Hillary “Right Wing” is a bit over the top. However, if she would like to prove she truly has become conservative, she can always switch parties. 😉

    David

  • Anthony Grande

    Nancy, comment 15, what “dirty tricks are you talking about. Through the history of the Democratic party they have won by dirty tricks. I know a lot about that, because I am an Organized crime expert and have read several times on how Kennedy made deals with Giancana(through Sinatra) to win Illinois illegitimately. Or how Tammany Hall fixed elections in New York for years through the Mafia. Also how the Chicago Syndicate fixed just about every mayoral election in Chicago from 1900 to 1960. Then more recently on the Bush National Guard papers situation with CBS(can’t remember the name). Do you want me to go on???

    I have yet to hear any “dirty tricks” to try and get elected by Republicans.

  • Very well-written, Ballethooz. Write more often about politics. You, like Mark Warner, are someone I’ll keep an eye on.

    Dave Nalle is dead-set on being a reactionary angry white male right-winger, but he’s a perfect example of the type of voter that’s at the core of these elections. Reagan was the first to get blue-collar, working-class union members in suburbs to believe they were economically secure and that taxes and social issues (fear of gays, minorities, etc.) mattered more than their jobs and health care. Bush has only inherited this playbook, as Clinton did before him. In many ways, Clinton was a better Reaganite than George H.W. Bush was and that’s why he was the much better politician and won the 1992 election.

    Hillary’s main concern should be targeting moderate/conservative women on family values issues. White men will vote against her, the liberal base loves her, and she’ll win a majority of women. The only chink in her electoral armor (there are many as a person and as a politician, I know) is if some of the religious women who voted for Clinton but not for Kerry and Gore continue to defect to her opponent. Had Kerry or Gore gotten more white women in swing states, they’d be President.

    Criticize her all you want and make fun of her ambitions, but Hillary can and will win the White House (assuming she wins the primary by getting enough Friends of Bill on her side) if she can communicate effectively with Midwestern and Southern women. It’s ironic in a way because much like Gore lost in 2000 because he was out of touch and unable to communicate with his home state of Tennessee, Hillary’s claim to the White House will rest largely on whether she can get women who grew up like her in the Midwest and in Arkansas to vote for her. The uphill battle there may be that these women have a built-in bias against voting for a woman President — there have been various statistical surveys showing that women may be even more resistant than some men to seeing such a female President. That’s a broad psychological question that may shape political response which her campaign will undoubtedly have to deal with by managing her image and positions very carefully.

    The white male backlash won’t matter enough to cost Hillary any of the solidly blue, urban states on the coasts unless he has some campaign breakdown or is destroyed by rumors and personal innuendo. The swing states would all come down to social issues and it’ll be mud-slinging about Hillary’s fitness to serve as a woman and as a person. She’ll have to answer a threshold of doubt because of her gender, which is perhaps even higher than Kennedy faced as an Irish Catholic Northeasterner. But the people whose answers matter won’t be rabid, sexist white men like Dave Nalle but other woman, who both admire and resent her. I wouldn’t bet money on her, but Hillary CAN win the Presidency with the right campaign. We shouldn’t dismiss her so lightly. She’ll also face more competition than we think in the primary, especially if someone like Warner enters the fray — I think the primaries will be very telling about how tough Hillary can be and how she presents herself to moderate women. I think you’ll be able to tell very early on whether she’s Presidential material. If her campaign self-destructs, it will be early as well, like Dean’s did. But I suspect Hillary’s a lot smarter and been through more political fights than Dean and will surround herself with the best, most experienced hands from her husband’s career. She’s smart enough and she has a lot of things going for her, but she has a lot of work to do to play a “man’s game” in a way that women will approve of.

    That is all.

  • >>Very well-written, Ballethooz. Write more often about politics. You, like Mark Warner, are someone I’ll keep an eye on.< < LOL, that shows how little judgement you really have. >>Dave Nalle is dead-set on being a reactionary angry white male right-winger,< < Well, you got the white male part right anyway. The rest of it you seem to have made up. >> but he’s a perfect example of the type of voter that’s at the core of these elections.<< Yep, a voter who has voted for Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians and makes his choices based on what's best for the country - which more and more seems to mean voting Republican just to stop the economically disastrous agenda of the Democrats. Dave

  • Dave,

    Why, specifically, does voting Republican help you as a laborer and (I assume) union member, economically when Republican administrations have been so poor in terms of union bargaining rights, labor standards, health care, and corporate subsidies/crime?

    Please be specific about how Republican administrations help YOUR life — don’t just cite lower taxes and more money you get to keep. I’m not interested in hearing a bastardized version of supply-side theory either. I want to know how YOU, as a blue collar Texas guy befriended by other blue collar Texas guys, benefit from W’s economic management in your own lives (2000 – today).

    I’m not baiting you here. The answer you give is actually of interest to me because it’s the reason working people have voted Republican so consistently in the modern era of politics.

    That is all.

  • Uh, where did you get the idea I was a blue collar worker, Babs? I worked a union job briefly almost 30 years ago. When given a chance to join a white collar union when I was teaching I refused to join. I’ve got multiple advanced degrees and taught college for almost 20 years and am now self-employed. I’m about as far from blue collar as you can get, though as I mentioned earlier in this thread I’m in touch with a lot of people in other walks of life.

    That said I can still attempt to answer your questions.

    First off, Texas is a ‘right to work’ state, so no one is compelled to join a union and therefore union membership is very low here, at least among blue collar workers. The big unions here are teachers unions and state employees unions, which are mostly white collar.

    >>Why, specifically, does voting Republican help you as a laborer and (I assume) union member, economically when Republican administrations have been so poor in terms of union bargaining rights, labor standards, health care, and corporate subsidies/crime?< < Our current union structure is outmoded and exists primarily to exploit workers as a source of wealth and political power for union leaders. The political agenda of the leaders no longer matches the interests of the workers. This is one of the reasons why the AFL-CIO is falling apart. Workers want their interests represented and blind allegiance to the Democrats isn't doing it. Working hand in hand with management to mutual benefit is a much smarter strategy. Union bargaining has been poor because unions don't have the support of their own members, can't use strikes effectively any longer, and make demands which are unrealistic in the era of a global economy. Wages in unionized jobs are already higher than the market can bear, and constantly expecting to get more and more from employers is completely unrealistic. Corporate subsidies and crime are a non-partisan issue, and I'm against both, as everyone should be. Unions work best when they help those at the lowest levels of the employment spectrum, and the people currently represented by unions aren't in that category. If unions want to make progress and do good in America they need to look at the service and retail industries. >>Please be specific about how Republican administrations help YOUR life — don’t just cite lower taxes and more money you get to keep. I’m not interested in hearing a bastardized version of supply-side theory either. I want to know how YOU, as a blue collar Texas guy befriended by other blue collar Texas guys, benefit from W’s economic management in your own lives (2000 – today).< < Given your restrictions you're not going to want to hear the answers. Even without unions, 'blue collar' type jobs here in Texas pay $15 an hour - usually substantially more - and bring with them at least an adequate package of benefits. Anyone earning more than $30,000 a year who's not completely irresponsible with their money benefits from a growing economy, low taxes and a healthy business environment. >>I’m not baiting you here. The answer you give is actually of interest to me because it’s the reason working people have voted Republican so consistently in the modern era of politics.<< Union members may vote Republican. It makes sense for them. They earn enough money to save and invest, therefore Republican policies benefit them. They may also be aware that the prosperity of their employer benefits them. The working poor don't vote Republican. They might vote Democrat, but the truth is that they just don't vote at all. The same apathy and lack of education which keeps them poor keeps them from understanding or being interested in politics. Dave

  • Dave,

    What advanced degrees do you hold and where did you teach at?

    Your sweeping, angry writing style and dogmatic conservative invective definitely led me to believe you were blue-collar for sure. “White collar” in Texas apparently doesn’t imply any concomitant cultural sophistication or intellectual nuance.

    I’m not sure why you wouldn’t join a teachers’ union other than some silly personal ideological bias. Those are perfect examples of unions that work in getting better benefits and wages for underpaid and underappreciated workers.

    Your criticism of self-serving union leaders and bureaucracy has some truth to it, but part of the reason unions are no longer as effective in organizing and bargaining (and in the decreasing frequency of union formation and membership) is because of the dedicated union-busting of the Reagan administration. Republican administrations have taken it upon themselves to be pro-business while being decidedly anti-union, something that has influenced federal mediators, judges and bureaucrats. The lowest-paying jobs aren’t unionized because the corporations like Wal-Mart that hire and fire won’t allow unions — union-busting administrations that refuse to offer workers protections for organizing into unions put the most vulnerable workers in the economy at greatest risk for trying to make their workplaces fairer, safer, and more equitable.

    You have no economic evidence for your assertion that “wages are too high for the market to bear.” If the business pages are any indication, it’s CEO salaries and executive embezzlement that are too high for the market to bear.

    Your anecdotal statement on all Texas “blue collar” jobs being worth $15 with full benefits doesn’t correlate with any reality in most of the country and isn’t accurate. People making $30,000 don’t directly see much of that economic growth — their managers and employers do. Wages in the lower-middle class aren’t growing as they are in the upper income brackets and that probably has a lot to do with the lack of job security, fair wages and advancement/training opportunities that unions help secure. Tax cuts are of minimal benefit to the working class since they’re not heavily taxed to begin with, and they don’t directly benefit from corporate tax subsidies without some indirect trickle-down voodoo about job creation.

    For someone who has such blue-collar values and talks like a blue-collar guy, this is an extraordinarily short-sighted and immature statement:

    “The same apathy and lack of education which keeps them poor keeps them from understanding or being interested in politics.”

    Bush won a significant majority of the working poor throughout the South and the rural West. Without the working poor, Bush would not have been elected. The question is why did they vote for him based on social issues when they are faring so poorly economically?

    That is all.